Performing Arts

Weekly conversations and insights on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. Fellow creatives share their own journey as artists and the lessons learned along the way with host Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.


When it comes to the arts, I aim to give as wide a field of experience and opinion as possible here on the podcast. Yet for the most part I steer clear of politics. This is for a few reasons, but the main two are that I don’t want to add to the already divisive nature of some political activism and I want the content of this podcast to be as relevant today as it will be a year or more from now. Causes come and go, elected officials also change regularly (as does their rhetoric and positions on key issues). 

The closest I’ve come to venturing into the political realm is when I had on two of the founders of Be An Arts Hero, highlighting their efforts to lobby Congress for more funding and attention given to the arts here in America. So there is no doubt a relationship between the arts and politics, throughout history they have been both supporters and adversaries of one another. 

And recently there was a podcast that veered from its normal format to highlight the Politics of Culture that is inherent with so many works of art. The podcast is called Left, Right, and Center. And as the name implies they bring on guests and pundits from all sides to discuss the issues of the day. However, in this recent episode their guests are a television writer, a pop music songwriter, and a stage playwright. The discussions are led by Keli Goff, who is a journalist as well as a playwright and screenwriter herself. 

Of the four guests in this episode, I was particularly struck by the conversations with Stan Zimmerman, who wrote for the classic TV show The Golden Girls, and award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, who wrote the book for the hit Broadway musical Ain't Too Proud. They both share how their own writings have contributed to social conversations and have addressed important issues.

Like with any episode of Left, Right, and Center there will opinions you agree with and those you may not, but the discussions are nonetheless thoughtful and in-depth.

Stay tuned for the next recommendation, which will be my year-end pick for the best podcast to take us into the new year. Until then take care, and subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen to audio.



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In part three of the month-long series bettering ourselves bettering our careers, this episode is a continuation from the previous conversation about deliberate practice and the 10,000 hours rule. Another psychologist, Alisa Hurwitz, PsyD, joins me today to dive into mindset and how we actors can deal with rejection and the challenges we face in this business.

Her moniker Dr. Drama comes from her many analytical interviews, discussions, and articles on theater, specifically her lifelong passion for musical theater. She’s even consulted on regional and off Broadway productions on elements related to psychological concepts and mental health issues. So she is the perfect person to help us face some of the realities of this make-believe world of theater, a profession that can bring us tremendous joy but also sorrow and frustration.

Follow Alisa: WebsiteInstagram / Twitter 

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When it comes to bettering ourselves as artists, it involves a lot of training, coaching, and practice. One popular strategy is called the 10,000 Hours Rule, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell. But today’s guest, psychologist Brooke Macnamara, has done research showing the importance of quality over quantity.

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In his 2008 book Outliers: The Story of Success, Gladwell proposes this rule based on a study of violinists conducted by psychologist Anders Ericcson. And the rule is pretty simple: mastery comes after someone practices one skill, like playing the violin, and according to Gladwell “10,000 hours is the magic number of greatness.” Today’s episode is going to focus on this rule, its implications as well as how or if it can be applied to us as artists.

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In honor of Dysautonomia Awareness Month, Meredith Aleigha Wells joins the podcast to share her struggles and challenges onstage and in life all from the vantage point of a wheelchair. After becoming disabled at the age of 19, Meredith performed in a college workshop production of the new musical Donny Johns, making UMass Amherst history as the first actor who uses a wheelchair to perform in a Mainstage production.

Meredith graduated with a Bachelor's Degree with Individualized Concentration in Musical Theatre. Immediately after graduation, Meredith moved to Cleveland, Ohio to dance with Dancing Wheels, a physically integrated touring repertory company.

In this episode, she opens up about the hard-fought lessons she has been through and how much more there is learn, both in herself and for others.

Topics discussed in this episode:
 - Mayo Clinic Physician Philip Fischer, MD 
 - 10 Facts about POTS 
 - Dancing Wheels Company founder Mary Verdi-Fletcher 
 - What does the 30th anniversary of the ADA mean to youth with disabilities? - Youth Today 
 - Able-Bodied Actors Play 95% of Disabled Characters - Variety 
 - Ali Stroker's Tony Award acceptance speech 

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British historian and philosopher R.G. Collingwood said, "History is for human self knowledge, the only clue to what men can do is what man has done. So with an ongoing pandemic and theaters shut down for the foreseeable future, what can history teach us about dealing with such hardships and what to expect going forward? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this episode with Professor Charlotte Canning, Ph.D, a theatre and performance historian at the University of Texas at Austin.

Topics discussed in this epiosde:
Actor's Equity First Strike - American Theatre
Katherine Anne Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider 
Shakespeare and the Plague - The New Yorker 
"Finding Hope in Theatre That Hasn’t Happened Yet: How to Survive a Global Pandemic" - Sight Lines 
Is Merchant of Venice Anti-Semitic? - Smithsonian Magazine 
Our Students Are Depending on Us - The Atlantic 


All music underscoring and segues by Blue Dot Sessions, except for WINMI intro music by Patrick Oliver Jones and "Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear. All licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.

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Bienvenidos y gracias por acompañarnos en esta edición especial de Why I’ll Never Make It!

En esta segunda parte de mi serie sobre historias hispanas, escucharán a mis invitados anteriores compartir sus propias historias y experiencias en español.

Sin embargo, hay una mujer en este episodio que no ha aparecido anteriormente, Cecy Treviño. De hecho, la conocerás más adelante en esta temporada, pero quería aprovechar esta oportunidad para presentarla.

En este episodio no habrán entrevistas, sólo historias hispanas vividas y contadas por los propios protagonistas.

Sitio Web -

Apoya este podcast -


Musica: "Being Together" y "Road Trip" por el artista Borrtex. Licencia bajo Attribution-NonCommercial License.

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This is part one in a series of former Hispanic guests coming back to share their stories in their own words. The second part - la segunda parte - comes out tomorrow and will be en espanol.
My original idea was to bring back all Hispanic guests for a single Spanish episode. And I ignorantly assumed they would all want to share stories in that language. But Matt Zambrano and Dan Domingues expressed their hesitation at speaking fluently off the cuff about their experiences. While they speak the language, Spanish is not their first language.
In the past year there’s been another clear example of this from one of the Democratic Presidential candidates, Julián Castro. He's talked about his own relationship with the Spanish language. 
Matt Zambrano was the very first guest on the podcast and he and i did MAN OF LA MANCHA together in Orlando. Dan Domingues is a NY actor who took part in my Spotlight episode on Only Make Believe, a nonprofit that brings interactive theater into children’s hospitals and cafe facilities. They both share insights about the work they do as well as very personal feelings about their own ethnicity and heritage. 
In this episode as well as the Spanish one, there are no back and forth questions from me. In fact, I’ve done very little editing to these recordings, just cleaning up sound quality as much as possible and structuring these episodes together. But in general, I’m simply stepping back to let previous guests tell their own story, and say what THEY want to say. 
Your donation will go directly into the podcast, helping to grow the WINMI community and allowing me to do so with greater ease and effectiveness. I wouldn't be here without listeners like you, so your donations are greatly appreciated. All donors will be recognized in a future episode for their generosity.
Music in this episode: "In Paler Skies" and "Lost Shoe" by Blue Dot Sessions and "Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear are licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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Welcome back to more conversation with Tadeo Martinez as he answers the Final Five. Tadeo shares two of his favorites pieces of advice and his dream to be on YouTube. He also talks about his award-winning performance in Noises Off in Dallas, Texas.

Would you like to be a part of creating an episode? Find out how you can and support this podcast at the same time: 


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For the next few weeks WINMI is going to be highlighting some amazing Hispanic artists, ranging from composers and dancers to actors and singers. And it's all in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. 

In addition to these interviews I’ll be showcasing important creatives in Hispanic history. It’ll be a chance for us to learn about the wonderful artists who have made such an impact not only in Hispanic communities but to our nation as a whole. 

And so we begin Hispanic Heritage Month with Jaime Lozano, a native of Monterey, Mexico. As a composer his works have been produced Off-Broadway, regionally here in the US, and internationally in France, Germany, England, and of course his home country of Mexico. Jaime has also taken on the roles of arranger, music director, and orchestrator, in addition to adapting, producing, and directing the Spanish world premiere of Jason Robert Brown’s THE LAST FIVE YEARS in 2006 and SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD in 2005.

And it was around that time that Jaime came to New York to study at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He's been on quite the journey and it's a fascinating story of an immigrant artist here in America.

Follow Jaime: Website / Instagram / Twitter 

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Music in this episode:

"Yellow Light District" by Lobo Loco.
"Kitty in the Window" by Podington Bear.
"Basketliner" by Blue Dot Sessions.
Savage, a musical by Tommy Newman and Jaime Lozano, performed and recorded at University of Alabama in Birmingham.
"Una Historia sin Final Concierto" by Jaime Lozano.
"Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear.
"Night Emotions" by Lobo Loco.
"Ayer" by Gloria and Emilio Estefan (Karaoke Track).

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Mid-March of this year was a uniquely devastating time for theater and the arts industry as a whole. Broadway and Off-Broadway here in New York as well as theaters all around the country began to close for what they thought would be a possible one-month shut down. 

At the time playwright Lynn Nottage tweeted: “Emotionally and financially preparing for theaters across the country to be shut down. Mourning the beautiful work that will be lost. Alas, protecting our practitioners and our audiences is essential.”

But as you and I know, it’s lasted much longer than anyone anticipated. And while the loss of jobs and the lack of theater options for audiences were immediately felt, there has been a further impact in communities and states around the country. From regional and local theaters to touring companies, stage work has a financial impact beyond just the box office. 

For example, the 2016-17 touring season in cities like Charlotte, NC generated more than $38.2 million in economic impact. In Tempe, AZ their Broadway Season brought in $100 million. And more recently, in Denver the seven-week pre-Broadway run of frozen added about $30 million to the local economy. Theater and the arts are a driving economic indicator in cities and regions around the country, which is why it is vital that we save this industry and do what we can to become an arts hero.

Be An Arts Hero is an intersectional grassroots movement emphasizes arts and cultures $877 billion value added contribution to the nation's economy, highlighting the human and financial toll of letting the contribution collapse. Carson Elrod and Brooke Ishibashi, two of the organization's founders, join the podcast today to share their goal of keeping all 5.1 million Americans who work in the arts 1) alive 2) in their homes and 3) with jobs to return to when the crisis subsides.

Join their efforts: 

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Music used in this episode: 
"Appreciation" by Chad Crouch is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.
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